Out, Out, Damn Sport!

Voters seem certain to do what the Arizona Legislature has repeatedly refused to do--ban cockfighting, and hasten the death of a way of life

The Filipino contingent wagered heavily on a yellow-legged Asil rooster handled by one of their own, and looked to lose heavily when it was nailed with several quick hits to the neck and breast, lost blood fast and collapsed. The other rooster, a blue Kelso, pecked its head a few times, then seemed to lose interest, and walked away.

The Asil's handler picked up his gravely wounded bird, blew on its neck to ward off shock, put his mouth over its beak, and sucked the blood from its lungs. The bird seemed to revive, and the referee ordered the other handler to put his bird back in action.

During the next exchange, the Filipino's bird stuck his foe three times, deeply, the last strike apparently severing its spinal column, as the Kelso went suddenly limp, but was still visibly alive. Exhausted, the Asil collapsed again as well.

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The referee ordered the handlers to bill the birds beak-to-beak, to see if there was any fight left in either of them. No go. After a 10 count, the match was declared a draw. The Filipino slapped bloody hands with the Kelso's handler, then swung his dying bird by its feet in wild circles and whooped, celebrating his narrow escape from defeat.

Come November 3, he and the rest of Arizona's cockfighters can only hope for the same.

Contact David Holthouse at his online address: dholthouse@newtimes.com

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